Pets are part of the family, but they can prove costly if they fall ill and need veterinary treatment. While the NHS can treat the human members of our family free of charge, THERE IS NO EQUIVALENT SERVICE FOR OUR COMPANION ANIMALS.
The main reason for insuring your pet is to cover vet fees if your pet becomes ill or has an accident. Many conditions can be treated cheaply, however as advances are made the investigation into complicated diseases e.g. X-Rays, Endoscopy, Blood Tests and the subsequent treatment can prove expensive. For example modern safe arthritis tablets cost approx 50p each, new heart drugs (the same that many of us with heart disease will be prescribed!!) can cost up to £1 each. One dog recently had a total hip replacement at Glasgow University for severe joint disease, this has been very successful but at a cost of approx £4,000.00. Another good reason for insuring your pet is third party liability - supposing your dog chews a friend's expensive three-piece suite or is involved in a road traffic accident - you are liable for the damage involved. Other benefits can include insurance against loss, theft and accidental death.
We feel the main advantage of insurance is that it gives peace of mind to know that if you pet is insured, there are no financial obstacles involved in the treatment of your pet, especially if your pet develops a long term condition e.g. heart, skin or joint disease.
FOR THAT REASON PARKSIDE DOES RECOMMEND THE PRINCIPLE OF PET INSURANCE
There are many policies around, however many of the cheaper policies will only cover a condition for 1 year, after which, an exclusion is placed on your policy to prevent further claims for that problem. TA better policy is one that only treats a single condition up to a (low) limit but not time restricted. The poicy may say it pays up to 5000 pounds per year but the small print indicates that any single condition is up to a maximaum of around £500. This poicy looks cheap but it is very expensive due to the poor cover. We would only recommend policies that give lifelong cover for any ailment and unlimited or very high amounts (£5000+) for each illness. The oldest and original companies may still be the best to deal with for full peace of mind. You tend to get what you pay for! You MUST look at the small print as if your pet does develop a treatable illness, then you can't change companies as this would be deemed to be a pre-existing illness and would not be covered by a new company. If anything is pre-existing, it will not be covered. Companies even ask for copies of a pets medical history, so they can look through and make sure a client is not being honest!
With recent changes in the law, we are not allowed to recommend specific companies, but we do stock brochures for you to look at. You can then contact the company directly for further details and/or a quote. It should be noted that insurance policies are completely independent from Parkside and ultimately you are liable for any costs involved in the treatment of your pets. You can claim back the fees (with our help in completing claims) after you have paid us. Remeber your policy will have an excess, which we cannot recover and you must pay this to us.
Payment should always be made as cases progress and cannot be left until the end. We can claim for you as often as you want. REMEMBER, due to the policy excess, the amount you receive is always less than you have paid us, except in a claim for an on-going condition, where the excess for that year has already been paid. Every condition will have an excess - every year if ongoing, like diabetes.
Another forgotten-about benefit of insurance is that you are protected against damages if your pet was to injure someone or damage their property or clothing. Levels will vary with the policy chosen and need to be looked at when chosing a policy.
An alternative option available is the PARKSIDE SAVINGS PLAN. We can set up a direct debit to enable you to save money to your pets Parkside Account. There are no charges for this arrangement and the money saved for your pet can be taken out or put in at any point, as this is a Savings Plan. It is still your money. The advantage here is that money paid in, remains as a credit balance for your pet when required, rather than making monthly payments to an insurance company, which is not recoverable if you don't require to make a claim. BUT if your pet needs treatment and there is not enough money in your account, then you are still liable for the balance due. The savings plan is easy enough to organize - direct debit or cash/cheques/cards - just ask one of our Reception Staff for more details. Another benefit is that because it is your money, you can take it out (when you are in credit) whenever you want.
From PetPlan -
Did you know, 1 in 3 pets require unexpected veterinary treatment each year?* Whilst
advances in veterinary medicine mean we can do more for your pet, treatment costs can soon
mount up. We recommend pet insurance to all our clients to help cover unexpected vets bills.
You may be surprised to hear that you are more likely to claim on your pet insurance than your car or household policies (Allianz Insurance plc). In fact, in our experience if you are one
of the few people who don’t need to claim on your pet insurance you really are very lucky indeed!
It’s important to be aware that not all pet insurance is the same. Some policies limit the amount of time or money that you can claim for so don’t just shop around on price alone. Ask the following five key questions so you clearly understand what each policy does and doesn’t
• Will the policy cover my pet for on-going conditions (e.g. eczema) into its old age?
• Will exclusions be placed at renewal for an illness that occurred in the previous year?
• Will my excess or premium increase if I make a claim?
• Will the policy cover: congenital and hereditary illness, hip-related conditions, dental treatment or behavioural conditions?
Click here to find out more about the different types of pet insurance available.
Why not try before you buy? To find out more about 4 weeks’ free Petplan insurance simply